Larry P. Vellequette

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Ohio man's collection of '36 Fords going to auction

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 19, 2014
As a young man, Emery Ward Jr. fell in love in 1936 -- with a Ford. He never got over the attraction. In fact, the older he got, the more it intensified.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

CEO media scrums are as ineffective as they are dangerous

9:22 am U.S. ET | April 18, 2014
Journalists chasing a meaty story can act like a pack of wild dogs sometimes. But this week in New York -- and earlier this year at the Detroit auto show after landing her new job -- GM CEO Mary Barra and her entourage must have realized how injured wildebeests feel as they are set upon by jackals.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Waiting for Alfa. And waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

10:46 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2014
If you show up decades late for your own surprise party, are guests still expected to cheer your arrival? Maybe not for most. But it might be a different story if your name is Alfa Romeo.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Auto companies are buying the creative souls of late night TV

6:42 pm U.S. ET | April 1, 2014
Two bedrocks of late night TV did something so unseemly last week it looked as though they had responded to an unholy informercial.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Jeep's software fix and the law of unintended consequences

12:30 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 21, 2014
One of last year's Jeep recalls led to an unintended consequence for some owners of 2005-10 Grand Cherokee and 2006-10 Commanders -- a consequence Chrysler now says it intends to fix, at least for most people.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Succeed Sergio? You'd have to be a bit crazy

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 20, 2014
Fiat-Chrysler tried to cut off speculation by announcing that CEO Sergio Marchionne would stick around for "at least" three more years.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Succeed Sergio? You'd have to be a bit crazy

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 20, 2014
Fiat-Chrysler tried to cut off speculation about CEO Sergio Marchionne's successor. With the exception of anybody named Tavares or Piech, who would want his job?... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Did new Chrysler spot show hot-selling Ram pickup with a nose job?

3:39 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 30, 2013
Did Chrysler Group's Ram truck brand just show the face of its next pickup? In a new commercial that appeared during the final regular season NFL games, Ram threw in two images that show a pickup featuring the familiar Ram's head badge and a decidedly different nose.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Why dealers should hire teachers, not tech guys, to deliver cars

2:35 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 11, 2013
Most dealers right now are struggling with a fundamental part of their business: how best to deliver sold cars. Specifically, how should dealers educate their paying customers on all the cool technology that a new car, pickup or SUV contains?... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Dodge pitchman Burgundy calls Durango 'terrible car'

3:59 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 21, 2013
Dodge's new Durango pitchman , comedian Will Ferrell -- in character as the oafish San Diego newscaster Ron Burgundy -- went decidedly off-message during an appearance Wednesday on Conan O'Brien's late night show. "It's a terrible car," Ferrell told the host during an interview segment.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

SD card players offer good customer service opportunities

4:03 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 7, 2013
Smart dealers and sales reps should look hard at the customer satisfaction opportunity as the CD player disappears from vehicles. The CD player's main replacement, the Secure Digital card reader, does a better job than its predecessor in about a quarter of the space.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

What's happening with Jeep's trailer hitch recall? Not much

3:33 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 25, 2013
It has now been more than four months since Chrysler reached its settlement with federal safety officials over a request to recall 2.7 million Jeep Grand Cherokees and Jeep Libertys. In that time, none of the estimated 1.56 million 1993-98 Grand Cherokees and 2002-07 Libertys remaining on the roads have had a supplemental trailer hitch installed.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Great Odin's raven! Ron Burgundy shills Dodge Durango

3:11 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 4, 2013
It looks like the polyester-clad cult icon who believed diversity "was an old, wooden ship used during the Civil War era" is the newest spokesman for the Dodge Durango. Great Odin's raven!... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Chrysler's IPO filing an expensive distraction

5:31 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 24, 2013
The breathless hullabaloo over Chrysler Group's long-awaited filing for an initial public stock offering has the automotive world abuzz with revelations of perceived palace intrigue under the Pentastar.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Chrysler's Hurricane engine coming in 2016

3:12 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 19, 2013
Chrysler Group has planned a hurricane for 2016, and like a parched Texas ranch, frankly, it could use the rain. The Hurricane coming three years from now is actually a rework of the company's base 2.0-liter I-4 engine, or, more specifically, the 2.0-liter engine's cylinder head, code-named Hurricane.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Many C-Max owners -- including me -- knew the mpg estimate was askew

12:41 pm U.S. ET | Aug. 15, 2013
Back in mid-October, about two weeks after I bought my 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid SEL, I wrote a column explaining that I couldn't come close to its promised 47 city/47 highway/47 combined mpg.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

GM exec: Young people still have passion for cars

5:46 pm U.S. ET | Aug. 6, 2013
The auto industry can stop wringing its hands over the notion that young people seem to be losing interest in buying cars. According to General Motors' top economist and others, young people are not drifting away from driving in favor of the Internet and cool gadgets.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Why recall letters could be a real boon for Jeep dealers

3:47 pm U.S. ET | Aug. 2, 2013
Chrysler Group late next week is expected to mail out the 1.56 million notification letters to owners of recalled Jeep Grand Cherokees and Libertys offering a free trailer hitch to improve the safety of the aging vehicles.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Time to raise the white flag on dual clutch trannies

2:25 pm U.S. ET | July 19, 2013
This is a historic week for white flags in Detroit, given the city's bankruptcy filing Thursday, so I'm going to suggest that domestic automakers take the opportunity to wave one of their own.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Why Consumer Reports' Ram review elicits mixed feelings at Chrysler

11:11 am U.S. ET | July 17, 2013
Chrysler Group must be a little conflicted about Consumer Reports and its recommendation of the 2013 Ram 1500 pickup.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Chrysler's back in the van game, but fwd is a question

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2013
The first Ram ProMaster full-sized commercial van rolled off its Mexican assembly line this week. Under a giant red banner with "Unidad #1" (Unit #1) on it, the embodiment of Chrysler Group's plans to return to the commercial van segment for the first time in three years stopped just long enough for a few pictures.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Mom-and-pop dealership puts history on the auction block

3:40 pm U.S. ET | June 27, 2013
When Ray and Mildred Lambrecht closed their Chevy store in Nebraska in 1996, they sealed within it a massive chunk of automotive history -- nearly 500 new and used cars, some dating to the early 1950s with fewer than 5 miles on them and with their seats still covered in the plastic from the factory.... Read More »

 

LARRY. P. VELLEQUETTE

Should a cellphone in a car take two hands to operate?

12:06 pm U.S. ET | June 25, 2013
I've spent a great deal of time recently -- largely during my two-hour daily commute -- pondering the problem of people using cellphones while driving.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

So who won the Chrysler-NHTSA recall fight?

6:01 pm U.S. ET | June 18, 2013
Now that Chrysler Group has agreed to inspect and modify as many as 1.56 million older-model Jeep SUVs at the request of federal regulators, one inevitable question remains. Who won?... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Pickup.com shootout is a salvo in ongoing pickup battle

12:07 pm U.S. ET | June 18, 2013
If you'll forgive the metaphor, the shootout described this week by the editors at pickuptrucks.com may say more about the automaker/gunslingers themselves than the effectiveness of their chosen hardware.... Read More »

 

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